How the Flexographic printing plates work


Ever wondered how Flexographic printing plates work? Flexographic printing uses printing plates to apply inks to the substrate. Printing plates are made of a soft yet durable and very resilient rubber which is wrapped around a cylinder and placed within the printing press. The number of printing plates required varies on the amount of colours that will be used on the design of the label. For instance if you have a four colour design you will need four printing plates. One for each colour used in the design. As the substrate is passed through the machine the printing plate absorbs inks through cells across its entire surface, and transfers this on to the substrate. Any excess inks are removed by a blade, whilst the underside of the substrate has an impression roller that pushes the surface of the material firmly against the printing plate. This allows for the best possible end result of wonderfully produced printed labels. With technology always advancing the Flexographic printing process is sure to only get better with better quality inks and plates being produced all the time. This can only mean better quality labels for customers and end users.

How UV Inks Can Benefit Your Labels

We all know labels are printed with inks on the surface of the substrate which adds the colour of the label design. As the industry progresses the demand for better quality materials and inks has also increased, as to enhance the overall quality to labels and the printing industry in general. UV inks are one of the ways the printing industry has improved as UV inks enhance the quality of the image on the surface of the label and unlike traditional water based inks they are more environmentally friendly. UV inks are typically denser than usual inks and cannot be air dried; the labels are passed under UV lamps that instantly turn the liquid into a plastic like coating. This process allows more of the ink to stick to the substrate and results in a greater colour density and improved scratch resistance along with a more consistent colour. With less waste being produced by the ink due to its qualities and improved printing process it has less of an impact on the environment. This greater end result is thanks to the quality of the UV inks, the sharper tones and more crisp lines add a real flare to the design helping to add a real quality finish to the surface with the label. Giving a more attractive and very professional finish to your product’s label adding a real shelf appeal.

What can a Varnish do to help your label

Using a varnish on your labels can really help the label to appeal. But what is a varnish?

A varnish is a transparent liquid that is applied to the surface of the label. The varnish has its benefits which  include speeding up the drying process and adding a protective layer to the ink underneath for increased durability and scratch resistance. Printing varnish comes in various varieties, for example a Gloss varnish could be used to accentuate the colours on a label to make them appear more vivid and eye catching, this could be applied where photography has been used on the label. Whereas a Matt varnish could be used to diffuse glare from the light making things such as small text more legible. To add an overall shine to your label it would be beneficial to use a Flood varnish to give a glossy effect and a more professional look, this would then in turn add a more pristine finish to the whole surface of label.  When thinking of what details of the label you would like the customers eye to be drawn to, keep in mind how varnishes could benefit the look of your label and help you achieve the label that you desire for your product.

Labels for Colder Climates

Before designing your label remember to think about what your packaging and your product is intended for. Is the packaging going to be stored in the freezer or used in the shower? It is widely considered the label is the selling point of the product. This is true, labels help a product stand out from its competitors. For instance if you are customer and your shopping in the local supermarket looking around the frozen goods isle and see a product with labels detaching from a certain product you not going to want to purchase said product. For the label to be able to withstand these conditions the material would have to be strong as not tear, this would be a synthetic label material. In addition the adhesive would have to be a freezer grade adhesive so it would not freeze. Another thing to take into consideration is the surface and shape of the packaging your label will have to stick on smooth surfaces are ideal for applying labels, whereas rougher surfaces will require a rather more aggressive adhesive. Choosing the correct material and adhesive would give your label the best chance of helping to sell your product whatever the storage conditions of the packaging.

New Labels for CPRESS Management Limited

Etiquette have printed labels for CPRESS Management Limited new juice range. These labels were specially printed on silver paper, with the latest in UV ink technology and an over printable varnish which allows CPRESS to print their own information on the label. Each label is printed with three colours, and really stands out from the crowd. The only question you’ll have to ask yourself is which flavour do you prefer? For more details contact Etiquette on 0845 222 0354 or you can email the Sales Team at:

Deli Central Labels

Deli central is an independent company specialising in the provision of quality, imaginative, fresh and tasty pre-packed sandwich products, based in Whitchurch, Shropshire. Printed with no less than six colours and  with the latest in UV ink technology, with an over printable finish which allows for information to be printed on the label by Deli central themselves. One of the nice aspects of this label is that it includes photography which is vibrant and catches the eye. If you would like more information regarding our printed label services contact our expert sales team on 0845 222 0354 or email us at

New Labels for Aquacheck Engineering

Etiquette have printed labels for Aquacheck Engineering, a manufacturer of WRAS approved Brass and Cast Iron check valves and a full range of Water Tools from a simple Stop Tap Key for Home use to Metering Solutions for contractors & Utility companies. These labels are printed with the latest in UV ink technology, with an over printable which allows Aquacheck Engineering to print on the labels. This particular label has been printed with two colours Red and Blue. For more details contact Etiquette on 0845 222 0354 or you can email the Sales Team at:

Wine Labels

The oldest ‘wine labels’ ever found were between 1386 and 1349 BC. Archeologists found wine jars from Pharaoh Amenhotep III which had inscriptions carrying the year of the wine, the vineyard and vintner’s name, together with the quality and quantity produced. Wine labels are nothing new but have played an important part in influencing the consumer for literally thousands of years.

Today people are buying wine because of the label. Recent studies show that 80% of consumers that pick up a bottle of wine from the shelf are likely to buy it, because of its label shelf appeal.

There are two elements of the wine labels that really influence the customer:

–    Quality

–    Design

For many producers, the label is their primary communications tool and as marketing and advertising budgets are cut, the wine labels become of prime importance. The quality of the label is an essential element when choosing a wine. Textured papers, tactile varnishes, embossing and foiling together with a clever design, give the label a quality feel. The more the label enhances a premium image, the better the perception will be.

Make Your Products Stand Out When You Design Your Own Labels for Jars

When you design your own labels for canning jars, make sure they increase brand awareness. There are a lot of products on the shelves, so  jar labels eed to make a serious impression to beat out the competition. Reducing the amount of visual noise can go a long way in ensuring customers pick your product over the one next to it. Create strong memorable images that accurately depict what your brand is all about. Some brands may not be sure how to make labels that create an impact. The first step is to find a high-quality printer with materials that will stand up to whatever they are put through. The best promotional label will fall flat if it begins to peel, or if the information rubs off during shipping. Make sure you choose materials that will stay put from the process all the way to the consumer’s kitchen. Etiquette labels as a variety of printing materials to choose from.  For more details contact Etiquette on 0845 222 0354 or you can email the Sales Team at:

Get Your Labels Ready for Sunshine

Now that the weather’s getting warm again, it’s time to change up your labels for the new season. Adjusting your labels to include summery imagery will alert consumers that your product is a good choice for this time of year. Whether you make sandwiches, sun block or even makeup, a seasonal packaging scheme can you get the attention of the customers who are beach or pool bound. Since shoppers are more likely to be headed towards a water source, it may be a good idea to include images of sparkling lakes and ocean waves that will entice the eye. Blue skies, green grass and flowers all call to mind the bliss of the natural world. Well-designed seasonal labels can do wonders in the summer months. For more details contact Etiquette on 0845 222 0354 or you can email the Sales Team at:

Packaging trends

Today’s consumer environment, how products are packaged is becoming a more important issue than ever before. Consumers want ease and convenience, but they’ve also become more environmentally aware, and want to ensure the products they purchase are not only sustainable, but safe.

Five of the biggest packaging consumer trends today include:

  • Healthy living
  • Sustainability
  • Authenticity and trust
  • Cost-effective shopping
  • Convenience

Healthy living simply means consumers want to understand what is in the products they choose in terms of health and nutrition. This is a highly crowded market, and one in which packaging and branding makes all the difference in whether the product will stand out and catch the consumer’s attention on the shelf. Convenient packaging is fairly self-explanatory. Convenient products designed for people who are on-the-go are vital in today’s fast-moving society. These types of packaging are generally smaller, lighter, and easier to dispose of. Manufacturers should focus on a disposable, no-fuss approach. It’s no wonder that consumers have lost faith in many brands, considering the number of food recalls in recent years and the discovery that horsemeat was being disguised as beef in the UK. Sustainability has become more important to consumers than ever before. Customers are interested in manufacturers who care about the world as much as the consumer, and look for packaging which indicates the manufacturer focuses on green practices and makes a real effort to improve the environment.

The new SATO CL4NX is available from Etiquette

SATO’s first truly UNIVERSAL Industrial Label Printer engineered for the most demanding printing applications. The new CL4NX offers a vast array of standard features that are unequalled by its competition. Printer setups, operation and maintenance are supremely easy and intuitive. The simple to operate CL4NX comes with a Full Color Interactive LCD with Videos that Offer Valuable Information on the Printer Operation, Intuitive Menu Navigation and Tool-less Maintenance. The plug and play features an LTDS (Label Tension Damper System), Flexible Media Support – Use Wound In or Wound Out Media and a  High Energy Mode – Prints on a Wide Variety of Stock Types. In addition to this the CL4NX offers  Multiple Interfaces – Auto Switching, Competitive Emulations On-board and Multi-Language Support. For more details contact Etiquette on 0845 222 0354 or you can email the Sales Team at:

What are labels used for?

Customised labels are used for many reasons – including branding and design purposes, giving instructions about how to use a product, to list ingredients and identify what a product is and what it is used for – but they are extremely helpful as a marketing device. Although some products themselves have the ability to catch peoples’ attention, manufacturers may use custom labels as a way to portray the value of their product to a target audience.With all of the competition for shelf space among products that have similar purposes, marketers are doing everything they can to stand out and gain customers. With this said, consumers are more likely than ever to compare products to ensure they are getting the best value for the price. Even the smallest-scale manufacturers can remain competitive and produce high-quality labels that capture attention and entice people to try their products.

Although custom labels can come in many shapes, sizes and concepts – whatever the manufacturer can dream up –remember that label materials do matter to consumers. If full-color printing and high-end design concepts are printed on mediocre materials, the purpose may be lost and the consumer won’t appreciate the effort put into the label design.

What is the Four Colour Process?

Whenever you pick up a magazine or full colour newspaper you are looking at the product of what is called “four colour process” printing. It is a worldwide standard for printing colour, but what does it really mean?

It is quite an amazing procedure. Basically we can break down all real world colour into four primary colours: Cyan (light blue), Magenta (a purplish red), Yellow and Black. This is what is known as CMYK (K is for Black). Back in the old days a camera was set up with different filters and screen angles and four separate photographs were taken of an image to create the CMYK separations. Today, computers handle this complicated process with ease.

If you have a very strong magnifying glass you can actually see how this works. Take any full colour picture (it can be a from a magazine, a brochure or even a product label) and have a really close look at it. What looks like smooth colour is actually a series of very small dots – and these dots are made up of just four colours – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. But with high resolution printing, the naked eye will not see any of the dots, it will just look like a smooth full colour image.

Four colour process printing is just printing a full colour image using these four colours: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.

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